European Football Fans Congress 2-5 July 2015, Belfast

#EFFC2015Fans getting organised, officially

It is only a few days until the 8th European Football Fans Congress (#EFFC2015) in Northern Ireland’s capital city and we are looking forward to meeting football fans from all over Europe and beyond to discuss and work on the current topics around the beautiful game. To do this, we will also be welcoming a range of guests from world football at the event. Among them will be the IFA President of Honor and former FIFA Vice-President Jim Boyce from Northern Ireland who will join a panel on the current stage of FIFA, and representatives from UEFA’s Disciplinary Body for talks about sanctions.

Football Supporters Europe and our hosts, the Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs (AONISC) and the Irish Football Association (IFA) are keen to welcome more than 250 fans representatives from 30 countries registered for the event, and despite ongoing visa issues. They will be joined by fan project workers, Supporter Liaison Officers, fan lawyers, fan researchers, governmental officials, politicians and representatives of the governing bodies of football from 2 to 5 July 2015.

Again there is an EFFC programme, that will allow exchange on many common issues for fans all across Europe. We want to meet and learn from each other about shared problems and solutions for us as active supporters in modern football. We will discuss them with decision-makers such as:

  • Jim Boyce (former FIFA Vice President, Northern Ireland),
  • Michael Maessen (vice-president of the UEFA Appeals Body, Netherlands)
  • and prominent activists such as Halil Ibrahim Dincdag (Referee and LGBT activist, Turkey)
  • Sylvia Schenk (Transparency International, Germany).

After a get-together and meet and greet on Thursday evening, including the visit to the European Cup qualifier between Glentoran and MSK Zilnia and the opening at Stranmillis College, the #EFFC2015 programme will start on Friday morning with a guided bus tour to give the participants a chance to learn something about the variety of clubs round Belfast, the complexity of the Northern Ireland conflict and its impact on football upto the modern day. At each stop, there will be the possibility to get out and meet representatives and fans from the respective club or organisation. The tour will be visiting Glentoran FC (The Oval), the Belfast Celtic Museum, The Peace Wall, several football murals, and Cliftonville FC (Solitude).

Workshops, meetings, panel discussions and the first part of the AGM will start on Friday afternoon at Seaview Stadium and continue on Saturday at Stranmillis College. We will focus on the topics of football and community work, stadium bans and matches behind closed doors, the Euro 2016 Fans’ Embassies, and tackling homophobia and discrimination in football.

Of course, there will be plenty of time to speak informally and about other topics, not only at our so called Fan Debates Pub Night on Friday evening but also at our big #EFFC2015 party at Browns Bar & Grill on Saturday evening. Football supporters (and anyone who’s interested) who cannot make it to our daily programmes are welcome to join us!

On Sunday morning, the final part 2 of the FSE AGM will take place at Stranmillis College, where members of FSE will – amongst other things – elect their new Committee for the coming year.

The #EFFC2015 will once again be free of charge and open to all supporters whether they are ultras, members of official fan clubs, fan initiatives or representatives of national fans organisations or just individual, non-organised supporters. The venues are also accessible for wheelchair users.

In this spirit, we are looking forward to the #EFFC2015 in Belfast/Northern Ireland from 2-5 July 2015!

During the congress, our media team will do live blogging of the event. Click here to visit the #EFFC2015 live blog!


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